Scenes from The Whipping Club 2

At our recent poetry jam on Twitter, we went into the woods, then to the ballroom, and then back to the woods. And we created five poems as a start. 

Now we have the next seven, and we’re deep into shoes, and shoelaces, and lace and gossamer (you can see the thread developing) and back to the woods, and we stumble and find – granite. 

All prompts were lines taken from the novel The Whipping Club by Deborah Henry. 

I’ve been editing Twitter party poems for going on three years now, and the lines tweeted for this poetry jam are among the best I’ve seen. Our jammers all kept working within the prompts and each other’s lines, creating a fuller, richer and more interwoven group than I’ve seen before. 

Scenes from The Whipping Club 2 

By @llbarkat, @mmerubies, @BrighterSideBlg, @charsingleton, @lanearnold, @Doallas, @chrisyokel, @VaporWhisp, @lwlindquist, @gyoung9751, @jen_rose, @pathoftreasure, and @GBrodhurstDavis. Edited by @gyoung9751. Overslept: @duane_scott.

Gossamer Clouds 

Gossamer clouds caressed the face of night;
her veiled stars luring in the velvet deep.
I’m new to the gossamer, to the velvet deep,
so let me paint it as I go along
with a paint box rebuilding itself.
So let me paint fraying laces tied like ribbons
around a gift from the past, a gift
peeling paint and rust. 

Shoes: He Said, She Said 

He said: Shoes are for tying and untying,
       in their time
She said: Score me into tongue of your shoe
       carry me everywhere you go
He said: Yet she refused such mundane
She said: I’m wearing only shoelaces,
       tied too tight, keeping my heart
       in a tangle, asking him
       to come quick, let me please
       dance free.
He said: Tying, tying. Always for tying.
       For this they have their laces.
She said: Laces are for more than tying
       ask the woman in her dark room
He said: Laces are for more than dark rooms
       ask the man who ties them
She said: I’m pleased you found my laces
He said: Laces are for flying kites
       ask the child in bare feet
She said: Laces are for kite tales
       for sailing in the clouds.
(He said nothing)
She said: I’m pleased you’ve come
       to unlace me now

He saw her shadow, and reached 

I Was Born the Garnet Girl 

I was born a garnet girl.
I was born alone.
 I walk the secret paths
of womb and tomb,
the deep unknown
crevices of time.
The torchlight flies
from my heels
as I run through
the trees.
I stand with the torchlight,
my face yielding no clue.
Starlight hits my bare dark skin,
the angle of my neck,
the dazzle of my leg,
the truth found only
in my eyes.
I am looking
for the bare back
of the night. 

Woods, First Time 

Do you remember the first time
we came to the thinned woods
at the edge? I remember.
It was night. The air was thin
as lace. Do you remember
the way the fireflies winked
to the beat of the cicadas song?
Humidity hovered like a thick glove;
we dipped our toes in the crawfish pool. 

I Am Pleased 

I’m pleased you found it.
I’m pleased you found it hiding
in the shed, rusting back
to elements and wrapped
in cobweb shrouds.
I’m pleased you wanted to hide
in the cicadas’ song. 

Running for the River 

I have no clue why
I left myself tied
to roots that had run
dry. I’m running
for the river now.
I’m running
for the fields now,
and the thin edge
of the woods.
I am slowly wrenching
 free of gnarled bad roots
now, pulling limbs
from deep under ground,
reaching up to sunlight
and praying to the stars. 

Score the Granite 

Score the granite
with my name,
hide me with
the stone
you will carry
through the rest
of your life. 

What to do
with the rest
of your life?
Seize no future but
what can be found
in a moment
in a lover’s arms. 


Scenes from The Whipping Club 1 – the first five poems 

Apple Trees and Dublin: Interview with Deborah Henry

Photo by Kelly Sauer. Sourced via Flicker. Post by Glynn Young, author of Dancing Priest.


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  1. says

    Refused (A Found Poem)

    Veiled in the velvet deep
    of night, he and she go along,

    tying and untying their fraying
    gossamer ribbons. He, asking.

    She, caressed. In time, skin bare
    and yielding. In time, the air too

    dry and thin. In time, black laces
    tight around the tongue, the song

    in the dark room run through, refused.

  2. says

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